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Q&A - Steps to carving a prop. with the Gemini - Articles - Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of woods are propellers made from?

A: The preferred wood seems to be Birch but some builders use Maple, Mahogany, Walnut and other woods. The wood should be kiln dried and straight grained without any knots.

Q: Where can this wood be obtained?

A: Look in the yellow pages for hardwood dealers. Hardwood is not usually sold at a lumber yard. There is a market for quality hardwoods for furniture use, and you should be able to fine good hardwood in any city.

Q: What kind of glue is used?

A: A high quality water proof glue. The preferred glue seems to be Resorcinol.

Q: How do I get a pattern to copy in the duplicator?

A: The easiest way is to copy an existing wooden propeller *. This propeller can be a damaged one as long as there is one good blade to copy. The second method is to copy an existing propeller and create a template that can be modified to create a new design. The third way is to hand carve a template from a known design (see Eric Clutton's book Propeller Making for the Amateur). This is less difficult because you can use a soft wood and you only need to carve one blade. Also, any mistakes or subsequent changes can be accomplished through the use of fiberglass and Bondo, due to the fact that this is not an airworthy propeller.

* Do not duplicate the profile of a metal propeller in wood, as the section thickness of an aluminum propeller is not sufficient for structural integrity in wood.

Please send any questions or comments to [email protected]

The steps to carving a wooden propeller with The Gemini Propeller Duplicator

Below are a number of pictures of the Gemini propeller duplicator in action. The first five pictures are showing the basic steps of carving a propeller. In this case, we are making a single blade template from an existing propeller.

Click on the pictures below for larger versions.

Step 1
alignment process
Mounting and aligning
the prop and blank.
Step 2
Making the first rough cuts
Making the first rough
cuts with the router.
Step 3
using a chisel
Using a chisel to remove bulk
material after rough cut.
Step 4
Rough cutting continued
Rough Cutting continued
with the router.
Step 5
Finish cutting with<BR>the router
Fine carving the front face.
Step 6
Finish cut
Finish cut on both
blades front face.

Step 7
Close-up of finish cut
A close-up of the finish cut.
For additional information see
The Prop. Carver's Store for books and videos.


Appreciating the Propeller

Light Plane Heritage Column
Author: Bob Whittier (EAA 1235)
Experimenter, August 1997 Vol.17 No.8
Pages 11-15
Page 11 (182k)
Page 12 (154k)
Page 13 (173k)
Page 14 (169k)
Page 15 (189k)

Perennial Propmaker

Article and Photos: Dick Cavin
Sport Aviation, June 1985 Vol.34 No.6
Pages 33-34
Page 33 (219k)
Page 34 (255k)

Design and Build Your Own Propeller

Author: Fred Weick (EAA 7882)
Experimenter, November 1987 Vol.? No.?
Pages 16-19,32
Article is a reprint from Sport Aviation, December 1960.
Page 16 (209k)
Page 17 (125k)
Page 18 (255k)
Page 19 (211k)
Page 32 (85k)
Figure 1 (42k)
Figure 2 (88k)
Figure 3 (87k)
Figure 6 (104k)

You may need to set the reduction on your computer when you print these articles.
On Windows: Size of needed reduction will vary based on printer resolution.
On Macintosh: Go to File:Page Setup, set Reduce/Enlarge to 70%.

Allred & Associates would like to thank EAA Publications for graciously providing permission to reprint these articles.

Propeller Links

  • - The Internet's aviation magazine and news service
  • - Homebuilt Experimental class aircraft and related information
  • - Experimental Aircraft Association

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Gemini Propeller Carving Duplicator Allred & Associates Inc.
Gemini Carving Duplicator Division
321 Route 5 West
Elbridge, New York 13060
Ph. 315-252-2559
Fax: 315-252-0502